Dog owners, there’s a reason you sleep in the smallest corner of your bed while the pooch sprawls out on the heart of the king-sized mattress: you’d do just about anything for your dog, even if it means sacrificing a bit of comfort. But what would you do for someone else’s dog?
A Florida man confronted this very dilemma one afternoon when he was out studying for a life-defining test. That’s when he noticed a world-famous dog in a bit of trouble and had to ask himself if he’d rather save the day or jeopardize his own future…
It was November 8, 2018, and Miguel Camacho was hanging out at a park in West Tampa, where he was studying for a test to receive his journeyman electrician’s license. He was getting ready to start a new career to provide for his family.
Just minutes away from the grade-defining test, he broke from studying for a little mind-clearing R&R. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and began scrolling through his social media feeds until a particular post caught his eye.
It was a video of a kitesurfing dog, and everyone was losing their minds about it. The black and white Jack Russell Terrier balanced the board and managed the kite rod like a real pro.
This talented dog was owned by Dimitri Maramenides, his wife Helen Trotman, their daughter Olivia, and their 16-year-old son Cameron. The family was made up entirely of surfers who spent every weekend on the beach and on their boards.
Cameron had been surfing since he was only 6 years old. Everyone who knew him could see that he was a natural and would someday make it big in the world of professional kitesurfing.
Outer Banks Magazine
In fact, young Cameron was recruited by Team USA and was set to compete in the 2020 summer Olympics. Him and his family — Zues included — were all at a kiteboarding competition at the north Skyway Bridge beach a few days before when something terrible happened.
After the Maramenideses looked away for a split second, they turned back around to notice their dog Zeus had been stolen! The family was desperate to get their dog back and spread the word of Zeus’ abduction.
Now remember Miguel? He’d been sucked down the rabbit hole of Zeus YouTube videos and noticed that the latest featured Cameron pleading that people keep an eye out for Zeus. He’d been taken by a middle-aged white man in a gray Sedan.
At first Miguel felt sympathetic to the family and the pup, but didn’t give the story much more thought. However, right when he was about to put his phone back in his pocket, he noticed a gray sedan pulling up — and a middle-aged white man got out of the car.
It looked suspicious at first, but there are plenty of white men driving gray sedans. Still, something kept Miguel alert, and soon the strange man opened the car door and a black-and-white Jack Russell Terrier jumped out to do its business.
Miguel quickly dialed the phone number left in the video’s comments and to his relief, Cameron picked up. When Miguel quietly described the dog in the park to Cameron, he replied: “Hey man, that’s my dog!” Miguel then quickly called the police but they told him they could take no action without the owner present.
Once Zues had finished, the man pulled him back into the car and began to drive off. Miguel didn’t have time for this. He had to make it back to school for his test. You know, the one that would determine his grade in a crucial class!
Miguel, though, didn’t want to let him out of his sight. He jumped into his own car and began following the sedan, aware the man ahead of him could very well be dangerous.
After several miles, the man pulled over and got out of his car. “Why are you following me?” he barked at Miguel while approaching him aggressively. “I don’t think that’s your dog,” Miguel calmly responded. “Of course it is!” the man yelled.
So Miguel called out “Zeus!” Excited to hear his name, the dog jumped out of the car and ran towards Miguel, who quickly scooped him up and beat a hasty retreat from his abductor!
After saving the dog, Miguel returned him to his family. “We are still pinching ourselves to see if we are dreaming,” said Helen Trotman, wife of Dimitri Maramenides. “We are so fortunate Miguel was there and was willing to put himself into a possibly dangerous situation to get our dog back.”
Unfortunately, the chase took Miguel longer than he’d have liked. In following the sedan and rescuing Zues, he missed his engineering test. This, he knew, meant he’d failed the class. His dreams were dead.
But the Maramenideses dulled the sting a little when they asked whether Miguel wanted to receive the $3,500 reward via cash or check; he had no idea what they were talking about. He hadn’t done it for money, he just wanted to save Zeus. Still, the Maramenideses insisted.
While Miguel was worried that he wouldn’t get his engineering license, the extra cash came at a perfect time before the holidays. “I have two kids,” Miguel said. “I’m gonna do some Christmas shopping for them and put the rest in their savings accounts.”
But best of all? His professor had a little surprise for him too: after hearing what Miguel had done, the electrician teacher was impressed by Miguel’s courage and good heart, so he agreed to let him take the test he had missed!
Miguel risked his safety and his exam grade to save the dog of a stranger and reunite a family, a good deed some people would not have even considered. The Maramenides family will definitely keep a closer watch on Zeus from now on — but they’ll keep taking him out for some surf sessions!
Tampa Bay News courtesy of Helen Trotman
If you want to see Zeus in action, riding the wind and the waves, you can watch this video that was posted by Dimitri Maramenides. Miguel sure seemed to enjoy it!